(tips on growing mint in your garden)
Mint Companion Planting
Mint companion planting offers assistance to a number of vegetables include beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbages, cauliflower, chili and bell peppers, Chinese cabbage, eggplant, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, salad burnet and squash. Planting mint near peas, cabbage or tomatoes will improve their health and flavor.
Mint is quick spreading. Take advantage of its vigorous growth habit by mulching your beet plants with mint clippings. (Unfortunately, our source did not provide a reason for why mint clippings will aid beets, but it seems like a great solution for excess mint and if it helps your beets – all the better.)
Mint plants will become more vigorous if broccoli or brussels sprouts are planted nearby.
Unfortunately the only mint companion planting recommendations for other herbs are things not to plant near mint. It is a bad idea to grow parsley or chamomile near mint.
Do keep in mind, mint’s quick spread is caused by vigorous growth of its roots. Plants with fine/thin roots or delicate root systems may not do well when mint is nearby. We were reminded of this when a thoughtful visitor to Our Herb Garden shared her warning about planting mint near rosemary. Ann lost a 7-year old rosemary plant after planting mint too close to it.
Mint & Insect Control.
There are a number of commercial insecticidal soaps which include pulegone. Pulgone is found in mint oil and can be effective in repelling ants, aphids, earwigs, mealybugs, slugs, snails and spider mites. Other gardeners have extolled the virtues of mint oil as a insecticide. But, they warn to not get get the spray on flowers, including tomato flowers as butterflies and bees will avoid them as well.
Several folks have reported mint is also a great deterrent against deer flies and other stinging insects. Others use it inside to combat roaches and ants.
Mint & Mice
Some claim that mice hate the smell of mint and will not eat anything that has come in contact with the herb in either its fresh or dried state. They recommend planting mint near crops that are favorites of the local mouse population.
Additional Mint Information
(Mentha viridis, Linn.)
To learn more about growing mint be sure to check out our mint fact sheet.
If you are looking for a more in-depth discussion of companion planting mint, the medicinal properties of mint and making your own herbal remedies, one of the highest rated books, on Amazon, on this topic is Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide: 33 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use. At the time I added this suggestion, there were 214 reviews of the book and only 24 reviewers rated it as less than five stars and of those, only 3 weren’t 4 stars.